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Serenity Rose Volume 1: Working Through The Negativity Paperback – 17 May 2005

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Serenity Rose Volume 1: Working Through The Negativity + Serenity Rose Volume 2: Goodbye, Crestfallen
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Product details

  • Paperback: 144 pages
  • Publisher: SLG Publishing; 2 edition (17 May 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 159362011X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593620110
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 0.8 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 431,054 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Od Smith on 25 May 2005
Format: Paperback
Recently, Slave Labor has been in a biit of a lull, what with Roman Dirge writing one Lenore a year, while Jhonen Vasquez has (with the exception of I Feel Sick), been producing Tim Burton flavoured books or unreadable horror (i.e. Fillerbunny). Meanwhile, the rest of the roster has been churning out wannabe Lenor or JTHM (with the exception of Gloom Cookie, of course).
Well, no more. Out of nowhere came one of the most interesting, humourous, and intelligent comic series of the past few years - Serenity Rose.
The basic plot is simple: Serenity is one of the few live witches living in the USA in a town created just for witchcraft, with goblins hopping around and the ogre pile (seriously). She survives with her best friend Tess, being stalked by goth band fanboys The Throbbing Organs, while writing a comic strip for a local fanzine. The fact she is possibly the most powerful witch in existence doesn't seem to be a problem, neither does the fact she can just fly, manipulate the world around her, or make ectoplasmic shapes for whatever need. They just happen, and everyone accepts it, as opposed to reacting in a Salem-like manner, which is one of the most intriguing concepts of the book: she's a witch, but living out her ordinary life in a place where it's considered normal to be a witch.
Of course, it isn't just A Day In The Life of Serenity Rose, as there's a thread running through the series. There's a dark secret in her past, while certain people want to exploit her powers and reputation for their own ends - such as rivet hed, a Marilyn Manson of witchcraft, with an overblown stageshow to match.
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Format: Paperback
I am a huge fan of Gothy-type graphic novels. JtHM, Gloom Cookie, even the Vampire Kisses manga... you name it. This one took me a couple of reads to really 'get' it (could have been the lack of caffeine), but while it was pretty strange it was a fun read with a superbly angsty main character.
Serenity Elizabeth Rose is a twenty-something witch, amateur painter and noted recluse. She can fly, smash things with her brain, and create giant green ponies with ectoplasm (did I mention this book is pretty damn funny?), but she also has to deal with obsessive Goth wannabes, gawking tourists, her very scary hard-as-nails Amazonian-proportioned 'best friend' Tess, and a male witch called Rivet-Hed (what a name). On the plus side, there's Vicious Whisper... but I'll let you read it for yourself and find out.
For those who love a little angst in the mornings.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
an amazing achievement 7 Aug 2005
By Matt O. - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
By the time I started reading Serenity Rose, I was already deeply in love with the works of Jhonen Vasquez (the Slave Labor artist/writer who wrote such benchmark "goth" works as "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac"). I'd also pretty much determined that JTHM was my favorite comic of all time. And while I read some pretty grand titles since (including Watchmen, Preacher, 100 Bullets, and the Sandman series), I've never had anything rival it...except for this.

At first, it just resembles your classic Slave Labor title. Spookiness abounds in the small town of Crestfallen, home of one of America's five true witches, Miss Serenity Rose. Extraordinary ethereal powers aside, she's a pretty normal girl. More than a bit antisocial, and really poured into her hobbies (which includes a perpetual stream of disdain for those around her), the only real connection she seems to have at all is a fairly awkward friendship with her childhood friend, Tess.

In her typical shrill manner, Tess manages to drag Sera to a concert, where after an embarrassing opening act, the headliner's lead singer overdoses on a fad drug called "curse" sending him into a monstrous rage that only Sera can end. From here, the reader gets a little more insight, meeting her fellow witches, all of whom seem to be using their powers for some real purpose, and through one way or another have made their lives extraordinary...something Sera's life definitely isn't. And as Sera makes her way around, she can't help but question every facet of her life.

And this is where Serenity Rose excels. Of course, the comic has lots of inside jokes and hilarious pop culture references. But much like the fourth issue of JTHM, the fourth issue of S. Rose is what really exposes the depth of the main character. Sera is no longer just a little goth girl, but a deeply nuanced individual with real needs and desires AKA she's no different than any of us. When Tess finally calls Sera out, and Sera responds with a full-page rant...those two pages alone are worth the price of this book. It was at this point that I began to really read what I was reading.

This trade is volume 1 and contains the first five issues of the series. For some reason, SLG is no longer publishing individual issues of the comic, and I'm pretty sure they're just going to release volume 2 when they're ready to add more to the series. I definitely find this disappointing, since December was the last time I read a new storyline, but I'd be willing to wait another year for Volume 2 if I have to. I don't know anything about Aaron Alexovich (writer/artist), but from what I've seen, he's a hell of a talent, and I can't wait to see where Miss Rose ends up.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
An underrated piece of graphic fiction. 14 Jan 2006
By Rob O - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Serenity Rose is of obvious interest to anyone looking to fill the need for similar graphic novel works in the vein of Jhonen Vasquez's "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" or "Squee!", which seems to be an extensive portion of SLG (and other publishers') interests in the wake of Vasquez's unfortunate post-Invader Zim creative paralysis.

But enough about comparisons, this book is much better than to simply get lost in the wake of unfortunately stifling Jhonen Vasquez comparisons.

Serenity Rose has a uniquely strong density of emotion and intellectual content. Whereas other "goth" niche comics (Gloom Cookie, Nightmares and Fairy Tales, Courtney Crumin, and others) chose to stick to a more poetic narrative feel, Serenity Rose is possibly the only "goth" comic to make its storytelling idiom centered around a verite' description of the characters and their circumstances. There is a continuous narrative thread throughout the issues, but the drive of the story is through situational and character exploration. The magic of this story is in the details, not so much in the need to get simply from point A to point B in a storytelling sense.

The setting of Crestfallen gets a significant amount of exploration throughout the story. This isn't merely an intriguing exploration of Serenity Rose's universe, it helps maintain the verite' feel of the comic. The satirical sense of humor floats in the details, such as the Ogre pile, quirky gnomes that are occasionally used as meta-narrative (not merely comic relief) and extended, nuanced ideological explorations through characters like Vicious Whisper.

Aaron A. doesn't just puppet the gothic content of his book, he really understands what the lives of these people involve. He buys into his book's image enough to keep some sensibility about it--certainly he does highlight the hilarity of certain aspects of gothic culture, but it doesn't permeate the narrative of the book. At the center of Aaron A's book is a very warm heart, and it's a shame that this book hasn't achieved the more significant market interest it deserves.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Aaron A. and Serenity Rose 8 Nov 2005
By Sam Vaughn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The writer/artist, Aaron Alexovich, is nothing short of incredible. His writing is fantastic, his composition is stunning, and his art is an exquisite solution of dark, cute, astoundingly intricate, and just plain beautiful. The use of grey tones in the book will make you forget that it's not in color, and to think that Aaron A. used a regular mechanical pencil.

Serenity Rose is a "20-whatever" aged witch, living in the creepy little town of Crestfallen. She tries to have a nor mal, quiet life, but try that when everyone know's you and you're one of the only 52 witches in the world.

An amazing piece of art and literature, Serenity Rose Vol. 1 should be on the shelf of everyone who has any sort of appreciation for graphic novels. Buy it. Buy it now.


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
"My so-called supernatural life." 28 July 2009
By Mr. Hacks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Aaron Alexovich was responisble for much of the character development in Invader Zim. Through him, Jhonen Vasquez was able to use characters like Zim, Dib, Gaz, and everyone's favorite insane robot GIR.

So it is no surprise that Alexovich brings us some steller characters like Serenity "Sera" Rose, her best friend Contessa "Tess" Rubikov, and Vicious Whisper.

The story is about Sera and the life that she lives. Sera is a witch, a someone who is "unstuck from physics". She can fly, make things levitate, manipulate the natural elements, create things out of thin air made from "ectoplasm", and rearrange the appearance of objects (including herself but she doesn't want to because she is afraid she might forget how to change herself back).

Orignally from Chicago (like Alexovich), Sera's mom died when she was young. In her sadness, she froze part of Lake Michigan, which didn't make anyone happy. Then she and her dad moved to a place called Crestfallen, "the spookiest little town in America" which Sera now describes as somewhat of a human zoo to her. The mayor and town seem to have taken advantage of her status as a witch. Technically, the town is like this spooky Branson, Missouri, and Sera wants no part of it.

A series of unfortunate events happend to Sera when she was 16 that caused all sorts of controversy including a standoff at her house with a Supernatural Sheild Initiative (SSI) (think of them as the Department of Homeland Security that monitors witches) that left bullet holes in her home. (It's debated in the story whether or not witches have the same rights as regular humans or if they can even be considered human. A little plot borrowed from the X-Men perhaps?)

Years later, Sera, now 22, has been recruited by a woman named Skarsdayle who is a manager of another witch who happens to be a music artist who Sera is not too keen about. But when a blonde witch shows up to cause trouble, Sera seeks advice from an aloof but wise witch named Vicious Whisper.

In this first volume, you may assume that the drawings are a little crude. As the comic progresses, the work gets better. The online work is improved by leaps and bounds.

If you are hungry for more after reading this comic, you should definite go to Alexovich's website. Google "Heart Shaped Skull".

If you are reading the web comic, which will eventually find its way into Volume 2, you should defintely pick this up to catch up with the first part of the story.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
By Spookiest_Lil_Girl_in_ America - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Serenity Rose is a phenomenal comic book chock full of vampires, cute lil goblins, ectoplasm and WITCHCRAFT OF COURSE! My mom found this book for me in a local comic book store and the second i saw it, it was love at first sight. The "gothic" style artwork and the clash of different character personalities as well as their various tendencies and witticisms make the story come alive with a dark humor that you will want to experience again and again!
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